Waste recycling – an investment in the future

Recycling domestic waste is increasingly important for the future of Uzbek industry: the country produces more than 13 tonnes of domestic dry waste every single day – and just 14 per cent of this is currently recycled. Experts estimate that €22 million can be generated simply by extracting secondary raw materials and recycling rare earth metals. Recycling plastic and waste paper would be even more lucrative.

In summer 2017, 18 Uzbek executives completed training at the Export-Akademie Baden-Württemberg. The group included representatives from three industries currently in high demand in Uzbekistan: renewable energies, wood processing/furniture making and the recycling of domestic wet and dry waste. Gulchekhra Nazirlayeva came to Germany with a specific project in mind. She is planning the construction of a waste processing plant. Together with her colleague Shokir Tursunkulov, who is an expert for “green” technology, she sought German companies for the current tender. All of the topics covered were important for her: municipal waste management, engineering services, waste sorting, innovative solutions for processing and recycling industrial waste, customer relations, state support, profitability, etc.

The group visits to Stadler GmbH (sorting plants) and HSM GmbH (shredders, balers, etc.) were of particular interest. The Uzbek executives were not only able to learn about the latest technical developments, but also to see these in action. At HSM GmbH, for example, they had the opportunity to try out the latest hard drive and document shredder for themselves, which is even used by some intelligence services. They have also carefully inspected the machines to shred and bale plastic and paper. Particularly the comparatively low price of the balers impressed the group. The state-of-the-art, fully automatic sorting lines at Stadler GmbH were the absolute highlight of the visit. Waste is sorted by shape, colour or consistency so that almost 99 per cent of it can be recycled.

Drawing on the impressions gained during their time in Germany, Nazirlayeva and Tursunkulov already began preparing a presentation to win investors for construction of the waste processing plant during their training. Their enthusiasm proved infectious and several other members of the group are also now considering adding waste processing to their own portfolios. For they have now recognised that this is a relatively free market niche: in Uzbekistan, there is a great deal of waste but very few waste processing companies. What’s more, high returns can be achieved in this segment while also contributing to environmental protection and improving cleanliness in Uzbek cities.

By Violetta Sticker
Export-Akademie Baden-Württemberg, Tübingen